There is no unanimity as to when and who launched the first Internet casino. The first judi online, however, are thought to have started functioning in 1995 or 1996. Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade & Processing Act in 1994, allowing organisations to apply for licences to build internet casinos. Microgaming, an Isle of Man-based software business, developed the first completely functional gambling software before online casinos. CryptoLogic, an internet security software business, produced the software that protected it. Safe transactions became possible, leading to the establishment of the first online casinos in 1994.
Commissions for online gambling
- The Kahnawake Gambling Commission was established in 1996 to supervise online gaming from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake and to award gaming licences to many of the world’s online casinos and poker rooms. This is an endeavour to ensure that regulated online gambling companies operate in a fair and transparent manner. Intercasino, based in Antigua, was one of the earliest, and it has established itself as a leader in online gaming.
- Online gambling was permitted and licenced in the country in 1996. These websites are run by trade-zone firms, which are foreign-owned businesses that operate in specified sections of the country as if they were on foreign land. Because trade-zone enterprises in Antigua are prohibited from producing products for domestic use, Antiguans are unable to engage in online gambling with any trade-zone companies based there.
- The National Gambling Impact Study Commission (NGISC), the United States Department of Justice, and industry analysts such as Christiansen Capital Advisors and Bear Stearns & Co. have all attempted to estimate the size of the online gambling market. These analysts agree that the expansion of internet gambling has been tremendous, despite their differing estimates.